It’s A Male Thing

It’s A Male Thing


“Those are mushrooms,” my wife explained to our inquisitive three-year-old son.  The decorative accents were found throughout our kitchen at the time.  “That is the stalk and that is the cap,” she continued as his eyes wondered from the canister set to the hand towels to the magnets on the refrigerator door. 

“These are mushrooms, too,” my wife clarified as she pointed to the colorful mushrooms on the pot holder hanging over the oven door handle.

You could plainly see his wheels turning and that all-too-familiar arrangement of his brow on his forehead told me that his inquiry into this topic might not be over.

Sure enough, an evening or two later his brow revealed the same position – this time as he was taking his bath.  Imagine how cute it seemed to his mom as he proclaimed that his “pee-pee looked like a mushroom.”  Still not able yet to pronounce his r’s, his announcement sounded more like, “Look, I have a mushwoom pee-pee.” 

There was, and still is, no one in the entire world better at dropping a subject and praying it never comes up again than my wife.  Her skills in this area are world-renowned.  Her mother practiced it, and so did her grandmother and many others before her. Like a genetic trait, it has become embedded in their DNA and part of their feminine way of life for centuries.

For men, however, we fathers disagree somewhat as to how to handle these situations.  We are willing to prolong the conversation just long enough to explain to our kids that this topic shouldn’t be discussed again with anyone except Mommy or Daddy.  Yes, we’ll chuckle a few dozen times and repeat the story to our buddies for years, but we won’t skip that ever-important step to tell the kids what should be repeated and what shouldn’t.  In other words, we do not practice what we preach.

Well, I wasn’t around for the bathroom exposé, so I had no reason to bring up the matter again.  And I knew better than to risk contradicting the different styles of child rearing between parents, especially in the presence of the kids.   So, I also let it drop.  It is possible, though, in hindsight that my wife wishes we wouldn’t have.

A few nights later, my daughters scheduled a sleepover on a Friday night. They invited not only their friends but suggested they all bring along their Cabbage Patch dolls (a huge, hot item at the time).  My wife met the girls’ classmates at a local high school basketball game and when it ended she drove the group back to our home.  The Chevy Blazer was full of young girls except for our three-year-old son. 

I can only guess that he had heard more than enough about those Cabbage Patch dolls for the two hours he sat in the bleachers with that crew.  Then, more doll talk on the way home was more than he could tolerate. Not missing his chance to finally overshadow the gals, he loudly blurted out one of the more memorable lines ever proclaimed by anyone in our household.   

“Hey, gorwls, I have a mushwoom pee-pee!”    

And that ended the Cabbage Patch doll dialogue with the girls for good.  I will admit, though, that I have repeated this story a time or two. Then again, I’m a male.



My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927

My Roots - The Potchaks - circa 1927
From Left: Son, Steve - Dad, Frank - Mom, Anastasia (Makar) - Sons; John, Mike, Frank, Chuck (Author's Dad) - Twins, Pete & Mary - Daughter, Catherine. Photo taken in Wilmore, PA